November 17th, 2007
10:12 AM ET
11 years ago

Rove: Obama missing opportunities to knock Clinton

Rove says Obama is missing chances to knock Clinton off stride.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former top Bush aide Karl Rove said Thursday he thinks Sen. Barack Obama has missed key opportunities to knock rival Hillary Clinton off track.

In an interview with CSPAN, the man behind President Bush's two White House wins cited a recent debate in Philadelphia when Clinton was asked why more of her records as first lady have not yet been made public.

"He missed the opportunity," Rove explained. "If he had stood there and said, 'Senator, with all due respect, it is entirely within the power of you and your husband to immediately order the release of those documents. And your failure to do so reveals legitimate questions in the minds of the American people about what you might be hiding and it's not going to be good for the Democratic party or for you if you allow those questions to persist,' it would have been a moment, it would have been a big moment."

"Instead it was a vague and wandering around, and weak, and insipid," Rove continued. "There have been a number of occasions like that where a sharp and clear and respectful contrast would have created a moment."

Rove also said the Republicans will lose in 2008 unless they "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision."

"Otherwise," Rove said, "The American people will say, 'You know what? I have got my doubts I have got my concerns and you haven't given me the confidence that I will do better with you.'"

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. Jed in Texas

    I have a prediction for you Karl, you and many of your friends will be wearing orange jump suits in the near future.I hope they put you in a cell with O.J,just think of the great we got away with it for awhile stories yall will be able to tell each other.LMAO

    November 17, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. marc from indiana

    Such hate for such a nice and brillant man. He is an undisputed political genius. I just wonder at the amount of hate that is being spewed from you dems. What has he done to you, but help engineer the most successful administration this country has ever seen. It couldn't be that you are a bunch of sore losers, is it?

    November 17, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Joe, Florida

    He is just trying to get the TOP TWO Democrats (Edwards doesn't count anymore) to go at each other.

    Remember when his friends at the White House did to his car on his Birthday. One of things they did was put a "Go Obama" sticker: Of course, it wasn't because he liked Obama.

    Clintona and Obama should go on the ticket and they will win.

    I knew old Karl couldn't stand on the side, he is always up to no good.

    November 17, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Scott, Milwaukee

    I can't believe how many idiots are posting on this thread. Amy from D.C., you may think that Rove is a "sneak," but he is clearly way out of your league when it comes to intelligence. He is exactly right on this one too. The Clintons are crooks, but because the media loves them so much, many have conveniently forgotten what an embarrassment they were back in the 90s. If you are interested in 4-8 more years of scandal and disappointment then vote for Hillary.

    November 17, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. M. Miller

    Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney should be investigated, obviously charged..and put in prison for orchestrating the murder of innocent men, women and children. Our armed forces and many countries continue to be victimized by Mssrs' Rove, Cheney and Bushs' singular vision of wealth building and power mongering by murder and theft. They are personally responsible for the deaths of 3600 young men in our Armed Forces and 25000 innocents abroad while they continue to pillage the wealth of others and call it 'National Security' with the cost in human lives and devestation rising by thousands each day it continues. Doesn't Mr Rove get it? He is a muted voice in this upcoming election as the populace on a whole is disgusted with him and his hateful, divisive advice. The populace of the world hopes that either Democratic candidate, when elected, will prosecute him and his cohorts-and jail them-so they may not ever, ever enjoy one dime they stole off of the backs of our loved ones and neighbors. My personal opinion is that they should be forced to live in a glass cage on the steps of Capital Hill-until they die form the stares of the relatives and friends of those brave young people who died for nothing.

    November 17, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Bart, Charlotte, NC

    From some of the comments stated here, I don't think Karl can claim all the hatred and contravening as stated.

    It is easy to talk trash when you hide behind a computer!

    Conservative Christian Republican voting for Giuliani '08

    Even though he dresses in drag. lol!

    November 17, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Jason, Rockford IL

    Unfortunately Hillary is taking on to Rove's tactics and has come out with claims of having "scandalous information" released (whether a lie or true this is mud-slinging she asked not to take place). Instead her campaign comes out with a political response and says that Obama is too inexperienced to realize it's a Republican just trying to set up a debacle. I must say it is a Republican that was PART of her husband's administration. This is a joke they should just come out and say it if they don't. Her campaign has gone from regaining some momentum from the debate on Thursday to more negative stories on the rise. This is the reason she won't beat a Republican in 2008.

    November 17, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Donovan Brownstown, MI

    Just goes to show you how AFRAID Republicans are of Hilary. Rove's giving advice to a DEMOCRAT?!? The Republicans must be wetting themselves ... either that or hell has frozen over. It's probably why Rove is here and NOT at home in hell with global warming and all!

    November 17, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. RuthieM

    Um, something must be happenin' in the Obama stratosphere, it's getting hot. Even Karl Rove now sees Obama's rise and so Karl Rove is slugging at him now. Well, Karl Rove, if you had been listening at that debate, Obama was the ONLY one that challenged Hillary Clinton on that same issue. OBAMA '08!!

    November 17, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Andre' J. Perrin, Richardson, TX

    Coming from Rove, it doesn't hold much water. Like Bush he is a born looser.

    November 17, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. michaelhoffman122

    Karl Rove is very good with political strategy. Obviously Obama is a little scared to go heads up with Clinton. She is a great public speaker and is backed by all the trendy left wingers. She has name recognition and wall mart behind her. I don't see how he will pull this one off. Good luck to him though.

    November 17, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Joe, St. Cloud MN

    Sounds to me like all of you Democrats are still mad that Karl Rove single handedly defeated you in two general elections. I think Obama should take his advise because he doesnt seem to know how to put Hillary in her place. Please come back to the Republicans Karl so we can keep the White House and Demolish Hillary "Monica did what?" Clinton in '08!

    November 17, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Joe, St. Cloud MN

    Reading all of these comments makes me laugh. You guys really think that the Republicans are scared of Hillary? There is so many things that they can use against her in the general election and they will run her name into the mud with Bill's cheating ways. They will force all of her documents to be released to the public and that will hurt her. She will eventually have to take a position on something and when she does the Republicans will be there to tell the world that all she will do is raise taxes. Plus, over half the country already says they will not vote for her ever. We'll take your challenge and win. Anybody but Hillary '08! For the good of the nation.

    November 17, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Marcus, Detroit MI

    The fact of the matter is that Obama needs to step up his game if he's going to beat Hillary; no doubt.

    November 17, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Larry Barfield - Marshall, VA

    As much as Karl Rove has been vilified by the left in their pursuit of hiding their own failings, it should be noted that he is a successful political mastermind. Those who wish to achieve or sustain their hold on American political power should heed a mastermind's words. Who is the equivalent for the left, Soros? I smell jealousy in the air.

    November 17, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Sam, San Francisco, CA

    Rove is the lowest kind of snake. Why he gets any mention in the media is beyond me. He has spewed his lies and poison for too long as an aide to the head snake in Washington. He should be jailed and the key should be shoved you-know-where...

    November 17, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Ron Nebraska

    Karl Rove is simply the most repugnant person on the planet, and yes, that does include Bin laden.

    November 17, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Ron Nebraska

    The only reason Karl Rove gained any reputation as a mastermind is because the minds he manipulated are so terribly weak.

    November 17, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Ron Nebraska

    I smell jealousy in the air.

    Posted By Larry Barfield – Marshall, VA : November 17, 2007 6:22 pm
    This is what I mean, this form of argument is on the level of ' I know you are but what am I?' effective back in third grade but shoudn't be used in adult political conversation but this is what our level of intelligence has sunk to.

    November 17, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. S, Orlando, FL

    All you Rove supporters need to get your heads checked. And your hearts as well.

    November 17, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Why isn't Rove somebody's girlfriend in a federal installation yet?!

    November 17, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  22. JC, Green Bay, WI

    Hey Rove, No one cares what you think.

    Go crawl back under your rock you little freak.

    Man, that felt good!

    November 17, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Quiz for all: Who mentored Karl Rove when he a 19-year-old looking to get involved in politics?

    Answer: Donald Segretti of Watergate infamy.

    November 17, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  24. Ron Nebraska

    Also Richard Nixon was a hero of Roves' as a young man and Lee Atwater influenced the little deviants morals along the way.

    November 17, 2007 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. BruinGirl2001, San Mateo, CA

    Ok everyone needs to just chill out and quit saying what a horrible person Rove is-the fact of the matter is that he kicked the butts of us Democrats a number of times and we hate it. I don't think this makes him a bad person-I intensely dislike his philosphy of 50+1 governing, which is why I'll vote for Obama-he is the only candidate in the race who can bridge that partisan divide and bring everyone together after more than 10 years of division (yes it goes back to the Clintons-all the way back to 1994 when the Republicans took over Congress). As for Hillary Clinton, just because her husband was president, doesn't count as "experience," just like it wouldn't for the rest of the working world. The one time she had a hand in shaping policy, it went down in flames, and they never gave her anything else to do. If we elect her, it's going to be the same battles that have been raging since 1992, which everyone is sick of (which is why Congressional approval ratings are lower than Bush's). It's time to move on-the country needs new leadership and a fresh face who can effectively deal with the serious problems that face America today. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton isn't change, it's a dynasty, which we rejected back in 1776. If we want to have a conversation about experience, Obama has spent more years as an elected official than Hillary has-8 years in the Illinois state legislature, and now 2+ years in the US Senate. Prior to that, he was a community organizer and a professor, so knows what everyday people are like and what really matters to us. The American people recognize that, which is why he's got more than double the number of small donors than all of his opponents combined. Hillary can be beaten by the Republicans, you can be sure of that, and I for one don't want to be dragged through the same arguments and controversies that have been raging for the last 13+ years. It's time for true change, someone who is a fresh face who doesn't carry all of the baggage everyone else does. Obama 08!!

    November 17, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
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